Is Computer Hardware Universal?

  lightless 21:54 28 Nov 2008

Are things like Ram, video cards and processors etc universal, as in they work on all motherboards built in any country?

  chub_tor 22:06 28 Nov 2008

That's a big question that has more than one answer. For example you cannot replace an Intel Processor with an AMD one on a motherboard that is designed to take only Intel processors. Nor can you put an old 486 processor in place of a core 2 duo. You can't use DDR ram in a DDR2 slot etc. etc.

However if you buy the same device in a different country eg DDR2 ram from Germany, USA etc it will work in a UK purchased mother board.

There are exceptions of course, you have to be careful with power supplies which may be designed for 110V 60Hz and can't be used in Europe. Keyboards will also be designed to be language specific.

As I said, no short answer, it's all common sense.

  lightless 22:12 28 Nov 2008

OK thanks. Solution reached. Just wanted to know if I could buy things from Ebay/USA and use them in England;thought there might be some obstacle to hender this. Wether it will be cheaper or not will follow.

  Stuartli 00:13 29 Nov 2008

You can buy computer peripherals to use in a UK system from the States so long as they are appropriate for the use to which they are being applied, as chub_tor mentions.

I've often acquired items from the US either for myself or the younger offspring as the savings can prove to be quite substantial, even with delivery charges.

  ronalddonald 01:15 29 Nov 2008

not everything is compatible on all motherboards as you get things in different sizes and electrical currents and voltages are differnt in components.

  ronalddonald 01:17 29 Nov 2008

is to see if it is compatible ie it works with windows xp etc

  Stuartli 17:12 29 Nov 2008

>>..and electrical currents and voltages are differnt in components.>>

So why, for instance, do so many laptops work both in the UK and abroad through auto-sensing voltage switching..:-)

  wee eddie 05:42 30 Nov 2008

Unless you give, and receive, the correct specification, you could end up with some useless kit and no redress.

  Totally-braindead 13:52 30 Nov 2008

My tuppence worth. All computer parts are compatible with the exception of power supplies, I can't think of any other exception but even power supplies as long as they allow you to change the input voltage from 110v to 240 volts would be ok.
But - theres always a but isn't there - the parts have to be the correct parts. As pointed out you cannot fit a Intel processor on a motherboard designed for an AMD processor, same goes for fitting a PCI Express graphics card on a motherboard that only has an AGP slot, they are entirely different and will not fit.
The one item that is very problematic is memory. You get the correct memory and it will be fine but get the wrong stuff and it either will not work at all or will cause crashes. Not only is memory different sizes but it is also different in many other ways. For example, if you buy a PCI Express graphics card from the US then it will fit in a PCI Express slot on a UK motherboard as they are exactly the same but if you buy a particular type of memory (for example DDR2) then although it may look the same and might fit the slot it might not work. This is not anything to do with the memory being from the US, its because it might a be slightly different spec. The same can be said if you buy the same memory from a UK supplier.
Unless you are 100% sure about memory you are better buying from the likes of Crucial who guarantee the memory is compatible.

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